The ability to unlock your smartphone or computer using just your fingerprint has been an option for ages, but it looks like digital cameras might not be too far behind. A recent Canon patent shows how the Japanese camera giant could implement a fingerprint ID sensor into both its camera bodies and lenses to safeguard your images and make cameras less tempting for thieves.

The patent (US Patent Application 20180012061) was first spotted by Northlight Images, goes beyond a security lockout though. The fingerprint sensor could be customized like any Custom Function button—allowing you to use different fingers to control autofocus, image stabilization, and more by simply scanning your finger while you shoot.

You can have as many custom buttons as you have conveniently placed fingers.

On the security side, the fingerprint reader could be used to completely lock out your gear, or even customize the camera for multiple 'registered' users. So whether it's you, your spouse, or one of your artistically inclined children picking up the DSLR, it would immediately default to their custom settings once scanned in.

The idea, so standard or even outdated on smartphones, seems positively futuristic when you apply it to cameras. Here's hoping this is one patent that does eventually see the light of day in real Canon products.